University of Pittsburgh
April 7, 2009

The University of Pittsburgh Receives Enviro-Star Award for Environmental Excellence

Pitt is sole organization to receive the Three Star Rating, signifying large-scale commitment to environmental well being
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PITTSBURGH-In honor of its ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability, the University of Pittsburgh has been awarded the Allegheny County Health Department's (ACHD) Enviro-Star Award. Of the more than a dozen local businesses and institutions that received the award, Pitt was the only one to receive a Three Star Rating-the award's highest distinction. According to the ACHD, Pitt earned the Three Star Rating by displaying a long-term commitment to pollution prevention by adopting large-scale, environmentally friendly practices throughout the University.

"Pitt has long been committed to advancements in green initiatives," said Joseph W. Fink, associate vice chancellor in Pitt's Office of Facilities Management, who points to Pitt's Three Star Rating as affirmation of the University's success in creating an environmentally sound institution. "It's important to note that we were recognized for our efforts in reducing energy consumption, emissions, and waste, and this, to me, is recognition of the University's ongoing dedication to environmental practices."

In honoring Pitt, the ACHD recognized the University's efforts in pollution and emissions reduction, energy conservation, recycling, and the greening of its campuses as areas in which Pitt excelled in creating an eco-friendly environment.

According to the ACHD, among the University's most significant environmental initiatives was the construction of the Carrillo Street Steam Plant, which is designed to eventually supply all steam requirements for the University as well as for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center buildings. Using new emissions-control technology, the steam plant will reduce steam-related carbon dioxide emissions by 46 percent.

Pitt's efforts towards energy conservation have proven successful in limiting energy usage and reducing costs at the University. Leading these conservation initiatives was the implementation of a building automation system, which controls building temperatures in many University structures. Other initiatives contributing to the University's conservation efforts included lighting upgrades, occupancy sensors, and automated temperature controls. These initiatives have culminated in University wide savings of more than $21 million over the last decade.

Pitt's recycling program diverted more than 39 percent of the University's waste materials from landfills during the 2008 fiscal year. Waste products that cannot be diverted are reduced with the use of compactors, and used landscaping materials are composted.

The University's Surplus Property warehouse has increased the practice of reusing furniture and equipment. In addition, the University recycles construction waste and is developing specifications that will require outside contractors to recycle waste as well.

The Enviro-Star Award was created in 1997 to honor the pollution prevention practices of businesses and organizations within Allegheny County.